Every war has been fought with different technology, tactics, and effect. After the razing of Habadad, most of the Diamond Isle chose to believe that their military superiority had been proven, and for all time their might (in the form of the Council of War) would shake the Celestial Firmament.
A handful among the aristocracy possessed more foresight. “Surely,” reasoned Hi-Brisstle the Undying in his Treatise on the Future, perhaps referring obliquely to flashes of prescience of the events of the coming Five Men War, “one day there will come some foe that, if it does not overpower the might of the Diamond Isle, splits its power and manipulates us will-they-or-nil-they into turning our magic against each other.”
To this end, the master created drydeath, a weapon so terrible he believed it would deter “all armed conflict for all time across the universe” (to quote one of the more excessive portions of his Treatise).
The spell of drydeath is a taxing one, but it remains within the grasp of nearly all the aristocracy of every country — the magic by which one joins with the Dark and trades life transient for unlife eternal is of comparable complexity — and in theory any nation could rain drydeath down upon the fields of its enemies. In actual practice, fear of the repercussions of such an event has kept drydeath a purely theoretical threat (with one tragic exception, Borr Mortock’s Day). The spell might be classified as one of the least dangerous in the magister’s arsenal: most accomplished heroes and aristos could easily shake off its puny attempts to separate them from their body’s water. Such a classification, however, would ignore the spell’s enormous range. A single casting could depopulate a city.
Ignores Pleas of Mercy, the infamous mojh battle-mage and strategist, called its creation “an act of splendor far beyond what [he] thought Hi-Brisstle limits; there’s life in those old bones yet.” Ironically, he and Hi-Brisstle both perished on Borr Mortock’s Day.
Effect: Burst out to maximum range
Save: Fort half
Spell Resistance: Yes
All within range take 2d6 damage as their bodies’ moisture is destroyed. Each may make a Fortitude save for half damage. Incorporeal creatures, and creatures with bodies not composed partially of water (most constructs and elementals, excluding water elementals) are immune to this spell. Corporeal undead take full damage. Creatures with the Water subtype take double damage.
Diminished effect: the spell’s range is short.
Heightened effect: Creatures with the Water subtype take triple damage and must make an additional Will save or be stunned for 1d4 rounds.
SEE ALSO: Borr Mortock’s Day, the Five Men War, Ignores Pleas of Mercy